On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

A Lego Prayer for Lent

Sometimes images come into my head for a prayer. Even an image from Lego.

Everybody’s been talking about The Lego Movie, which I haven’t seen yet. Perhaps because I don’t have kids the right age and therefore don’t have the perfect excuse to see it. I would have to stand in line by myself and exclaim with some chagrin, “I’m here for myself.”

Still, I love Legos. I love the way you can build something from nothing. A castle, a fortress, a house, a store, a school, a church, anything. When my boys were younger we spent hours building, happy hours concentrating on red, green, yellow, blue blocks for bridges, roads, arches, gates, people moving in and out, knights on plastic Lego horses, shields in hand.

What I especially remember was my son Timothy’s castle that we constructed out of Lego. It had a moat and a big gray wall and best of all a drawbridge leading to an entrance with a portcullis. We loved that word, portcullis, the metal gate, as we raised it and lowered it for the Lego knights coming into the safe quarters of the castle. “Who goes there? Are you friend or enemy? A friend? Come in, come in.” And we raised the portcullis; we lifted up the gate.

That image of the portcullis is what came to me when I was recently reading Psalm 24: “Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them high, O everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in” (verse 7). God is ready at all times for us to open ourselves up, open up the gates of our hearts, lowering our defenses, allowing him to enter in. “Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle” (verse 8).

For me my battles aren’t usually ones with swords and spears, but ones fighting inner demons of insecurity, despair, lack of trust, wariness, skepticism, doubt, materialism, hopelessness, unkindness, narrowness. I need to lift up that portcullis for God to enter in; or drop it down to keep some of those negative thoughts away. Sin is anything that separates us from the love of God. Close that gate on sin. My Lego gate.

One of our preachers at Lent was reminding us that this is the perfect time to do something, take on a practice that brings you closer to God. As you read the Bible and pray, go ahead and see the images that come into your head. They might seem outlandish, even childish. But I find my prayer life is enhanced when I use them.

The Lord is strong and mighty in battle. We can do anything with him on our side. Lift up your gates... however you imagine them. You can make yourself a Lego prayer.

For another prayer tip for Lent, check out this video

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.